Discussions on TransCanada’s crude-oil route are going “extremely well” with U.S. federal authorities, Ambassador David MacNaughton said Friday in an interview at his office. “I don’t see any big hurdles in the way of Keystone from the administration’s point of view,” he said, referring to the government of President Donald Trump.
While the state of Nebraska may still have some issues, the outlook for the pipeline’s approval looks “very positive,” MacNaughton said.
Approval would end years of uncertainty over the project, which sparked protests from environmentalists and created tension between the U.S. and Canada. The route would carry crude from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
In 2015, former President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline, saying the project would undercut the U.S. fight against climate change. Trump revived the prospect of approval shortly after taking office, inviting TransCanada to reapply. The company applied to the State Department for a presidential permit in January.
Canada’s government has said its approvals for the Keystone project remain in place and that the fate of the pipeline is now in the hands of the company and U.S. lawmakers.